By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript
AMES, Iowa — With Saturday’s 35-20 victory over Iowa State, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops matched legendary Sooner coach Bud Wilkinson with 145 career victories.
Stoops said he had no idea he tied the mark until after the game.
“I had no idea about that to be honest with you; I truly didn’t. I’ve got the greatest respect for what Coach Wilkinson did,” Stoops said. “The stories I hear from his players … I’m very proud to be at a place that he sort of, I wanna say built. He was one of the original … I know Bennie Owen had a ton of wins there, too, but Coach Wilkinson really started winning national championships and conference championships. He’s special. I don’t want to … I don’t want to quantify it because I’m still working. I’m just thinking about the next one when I’m walking in here. I’m fortunate to be at a great place, a great university with great leadership in my administration.”
Stoops is now 145-36 over his 14 1/2 seasons at OU. Wilkinson reached his 145 wins in 17 seasons, but did it in 178 games. Barry Switzer holds the program record with 157.
Bell struggles: Iowa State deserves credit because it was the first team to stuff OU backup quarterback Blake Bell. His five carries netted just four yards.
Bell was stuffed on a fourth-and-1 play on OU’s opening drive.
In the second half, OU had a third-and-1 play and decided to leave Bell on the bench and hand to Brennan Clay. Clay converted the first down.
“The other formations we’re playing out pretty well in how we were running them, so we just stayed with it,” Stoops said.
Johnson plays little: Left tackle Lane Johnson did not start and only played on the Sooners’ five PAT attempts on Saturday.
Johnson suffered an ankle injury last Saturday against Notre Dame. Stoops was confident as late as Thursday that he would be able to play.
“I did (think Johnson would play),” Stoops said. “Just warming up, you could tell it wasn’t where it needed to be. He did some things in practice; that’s why he was suited out and tried. You could just tell in warmups he wasn’t going to be effective.”
Tyrus Thompson made the start at left tackle and played the entire game.
Another win after a loss: The Sooners have now won 20 straight games that followed losses, dating back to the 2004 season.
They haven’t lost consecutive games since losing the 2003 Big 12 championship game to Kansas State and BCS national championship to LSU.
“There’s a process to winning, and we don’t change it. Whether you win a big game or you lose one, you continue to do the same things through the week to give yourself a chance to win,” Stoops said. “I do believe some teams are more mature and get it, meaning we still have an opportunity to compete this week and what are we gonna do with it? There aren’t that many of them. So, you take advantage of it and try to keep improving throughout the season the best you can.”
Comfortable in the pocket: Landry Jones threw for 404 yards. The biggest reason was Iowa State applied very little pressure. Jones was never sacked and the Cyclones were only credited with two pressures.
“We’ve had a lot of good games this year. But I think the offensive line did a great job. You can’t praise them enough for how well they played today,” Jones said.
O’Hara returns: Kicker Patrick O’Hara handled the kickoff duties for the first time since the Texas Tech game. He handled three of OU’s six kickoffs. None reached the end zone, and one went out of bounds, giving the Cyclones the ball at the 40-yard line.
He made a potential touchdown-saving tackle on Iowa State’s Jarvis West on his kickoff following the Sooners’ first touchdown.
John ShinnFollow me @firstname.lastname@example.org
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